They say that snow is the poor man's fertilizer, and this past weekend we saw the truth of that—but unfortunately it was from the wrong side of the argument. It was a low-snow winter here in Eastern Massachusetts, so our snow's been gone from the garden for a couple weeks. Over the last three days we got socked with a rainy nor'easter, which, instead of dropping a couple (or eight or ten) feet of insulating snow that would slowly melt into the soil, spent 60 hours lashing us with rain. Floods, soil loss due to runoff, soil nutrients washed away... oh woe! Not to mention, of course, our flooded basement.
Still, it's sunny now and warming up quickly, and the daffodil shoots are already three inches tall. And talk of gardening is popping up all over the internet—and not just gardening, but the sort of real lifestyle changes that go under the heading "urban homesteading". Or, of course, suburban homesteading. Folks are writing about starting seeds, preserving food, living locally and sustainably... even dropping out of the rat race to raise chickens!
Alright, so that last link from the New York Times Magazine isn't so good. Not only are the folks at the Times are a little slow in acknowledging the "Radical Homemaker" movement, they're pretty classist and dismissive in their presentation ("highly educated women"? Times needs to make sure we don't think these folks are plain old hicks). But hey, there are real people who want to have chickens—not to mention gardens and pantries full of homemade preserves—and I think that's pretty cool!
[Edit to add one more garden-starting blog post.]